I Have Always Depended on the Kindness of Strangers

Sometimes a lady pursuing luxury must endure some not so luxury things. Like, for example, the MegaBus. Don't even get me started. Even after the time (read: every damn time) the WiFi refused to work, to the time the AC refused to work, to the time the outlets (shocker) refused to work: I always decided to try once more. The MegaBus is like taking a jaeger-bomb, or going outdoor camping: it seems like the ONLY idea worth doing/committing yourself to in the moment. And then the next day you're like, "I'm an indoor cat! Where is my shower! And also, my body feels like bad choices and I smell like second Freshman year of college!" But once in a while, you bite the bullet and ride...that's what she said. Last week I decided the very best of ways to get myself and two months worth of clothes from NYC to DC was the MegaBus. Actually to be fair my bank account decided that, but, bygones. So I downsized and arrived at 34th and 11th (beaauutiful country over on that side of the island) with four suitcases, two Lulu bags, a hat box, and a prayer. Yes that was for two months. You guys, I really like hats. I get in the line that (I pray) is marked correctly going to Washington DC. Well, you know, DC and White Plains. Wherever the hell that is. I'm sorry native White Plains-ers, everyone going all the way to DC resents you like a Baldwin brother bringing down the family name. But I digress.

I get in the line and begin to wait untill my bus decides it's time to arrive, angrily and quickly shuffle people on, and perhaps leave at the designated time. It's right around now that I realize there is NO WAY I'm getting let on this bus with as many suitcases as I have in my possession.Time to make friends and play a little game called "Blanche it Out." That's when you Blanche DuBois your way into meeting strangers, and HOPING one of them likes you enough to perhaps show some kindness and pretend one of your suitcases is theirs. Always rely on the kindness of strangers at a MegaBus stop. You will not be disappointed. I scan the line. The girl behind me is crying. "Girl, you good?", I ask, genuinely concerned. "Yeah I'm just saying goodbye to my sister for six months while I travel to Portugal ." "Why do you only have that one bag?", I ask, genuinely concerned. "Well," she says, "I am backpacking."...blank stares back and forth as we begin to understand that we do not understand one another. Silence. "Would you maybe pretend this gray baby suitcase is yours?", I say. "Yes of course," she answers. One down. Three to go.

"Hello sir, would you mind pretending this cheetah print suitcase is yours while we board this bus?", I say to a small Buddhist monk feeding a hotdog to a one-legged pigeon. Now , at this point I should've remembered Buddhists live a humble life void of many earthly possessions. But all I could think was he didn't have a suitcase of his own, he could feasibly take mine, and a pigeon eating a hotdog was silly. He obliged though, and I felt certain I would get on this bus!

That's when the line started moving. The bus was here. Well, not my 2pm bus but the 1:40pm bus. And since it was now 2:15pm someone decided to just join both buses together. Time was running behind, but out, simultaneously. WHAT IS A BIDDIE TO DO!?! My dear friend Derek from college had been waiting for the 1:40pm and we had been chatting. He could now take a suitcase. Boom. Done MegaBus, you saucy minx! You can't rain on my parade!

I proudly show my ticket to the MegaBus employee, gesture towards my ONE suitcase and three bags with pride beaming from every part of me. "Ma'am," he says, "You have too many carry on items. You can only take one suitcase and one carry on bag. You'll have to pay an extra $40 per extra bag."...how dare you. How dare you MegaBus when I am so close to a triumph of preposterous, over-packing feats! "Wait over on the side ma'am. We'll figure this out after everyone gets on." Sweet sweet Derek boards the bus and saves me a seat. "Will you get on?", he mouths through the window. I do not know, my friend. But I do know it's time for the big guns. Blanche needs to become a Stanley for a minute. "Sir," I say in my sternest don't-mess-with-me voice, "I don't mean to be a bother, but I don't think I I even have $40 in my checking account. Additionally, most of those people on our bus are running drugs and therefore not traveling with a suitcase. I think I can bring these on without a big problem, don't you?"...silence. He winks. I wink. He turns his back to me, no more discussion. I BOARD THAT BUS.

What is the moral here? There isn't one really, aside from the fact that I need to learn how to pack less. And maybe that the MegaBus sometimes isn't all that bad. They people one can meet are fascinating and kind, the workers hate the process just as much as you do, and apparently pigeons eat meat. If that's not enough of a moral I don't know what is!